Dick Wolf, the creator of “Legislation & Order,” wrote a letter to Liz Magill pleading along with her to step down as president of the College of Pennsylvania.
Wolf, the namesake of UPenn’s Wolf Humanities Heart, is amongst a rising checklist of highly effective donors vowing to chop off monetary assist to the Ivy League faculty over considerations a couple of Palestinian literature competition held on campus final month.
“President Magill, I implore you and [chair of the board of trustees] Scott Bok to step down out of your UPenn positions earlier than any extra pointless injury to UPenn,” Wolf wrote within the letter, obtained by CNN on Friday. “There is no such thing as a hope for unification in our group till you step apart.”
The Emmy award-winning producer mentioned a management change is the “solely path ahead” and he’ll “finish all donations to UPenn” till each leaders resign.
The catalyst for the donor backlash is the Palestine Writes Literature Competition, which was held at UPenn final month previous to the Hamas terror assaults on Israel. UPenn leaders acknowledged previous to that multiday occasion that it might embrace audio system with a historical past of creating antisemitism remarks.
“The notion that the Wolf Humanities Heart contributed to this hate fest, in any other case often called the Palestine Writes Competition, is an abomination,” Wolf wrote within the letter, which has not been beforehand reported.
Wolf’s letter goes additional than a press release he gave to The Daily Pennsylvanian final week saying Bok and Magill “must be held to account” as a result of their management has “inadequately represented” the college’s beliefs and values.
UPenn didn’t reply to a request for touch upon Wolf’s letter.
Organizers of the Palestine Writes competition denied that it embraced antisemitism, in keeping with UPenn scholar newspaper The Every day Pennsylvanian.
Criticism over the occasion escalated within the days after Hamas attacked Israel. Billionaire Marc Rowan, former US Ambassador Jon Huntsman, enterprise capitalist David Magerman and hedge fund billionaire Cliff Asness have all vowed to shut their checkbooks. Ronald Lauder, the billionaire inheritor to the Estée Lauder cosmetics empire, has threatened to do the identical.
For his half, Wolf mentioned he wrote to Magill in September forward of the Palestine Writes competition, however his “request was ignored and issues have gone from unhealthy to worse at our beloved UPenn.”
The “Legislation & Order” creator famous he was raised by a Jewish father and an Irish Catholic mom and has supported “many religion traditions and free speech all through my life.”
“I’m in opposition to all types of hate and hate speech and consider this convention as inappropriate and fairly frankly a humiliation to the College,” Wolf wrote.
Magill, who grew to become president of UPenn final 12 months, issued a press release on Wednesday saying “hateful speech has no place at Penn.”
“I categorically condemn hateful speech that denigrates others as opposite to our values,” Magill mentioned. “On this tragic second, we should respect the ache of our classmates and colleagues and acknowledge that our speech and actions have the ability to each hurt and heal our group. We should select therapeutic, resisting those that would divide us and as a substitute respect and take care of each other.”
Bok, who chairs UPenn’s board of trustees and serves as CEO of funding financial institution Greenhill & Co., mentioned earlier this week that Magill has “unanimous” assist from present and former UPenn trustees who gathered in latest days.
Within the days earlier than the Palestine Writes competition, Magill was not simply dealing with stress from Lauder, Wolf and others who wished the occasion scrapped. There have been additionally vocal backers of the occasion, together with even some members of the Jewish group.
Dozens of Jewish members of the UPenn group wrote to Magill previous to the occasion to specific their “enthusiasm” for it. They even criticized Magill’s condemnation of antisemitism, writing that “utilizing this celebration of Palestinian literary traditions as an event to sentence antisemitism, your assertion additional marginalizes Palestinian experiences on campus, whereas supporting makes an attempt to conflate Palestinian liberation with antisemitism”.
Three dozen members of the UPenn college additionally wrote to The Every day Pennsylvanian in assist of the Palestine Writes competition.